Saturday, December 8, 2007


My cross season is over for the year. It was maybe the most fun I have had racing ever. I am not sure why, I have had other years I have enjoyed. I think as I get older I put less pressure on myself, added to that is I train smarter and am in better shape now than in years past. We had some great courses this year. I remember the slick slidy mud in Rainer, the barns in Astoria, the course I liked the least was so wet and muddy (Hillsboro) that even that was fun. The USPG races were the highlight. Very wet, very muddy and lots of twists and turns.
Tomorrow I start my other job for the year, coaching Nordic Skiing for the MBSEF. Nordic skiing is also a lot of fun, though in a different way. For me it is best when the snow groomed to perfection. The opposite of cross. I like the movement in Nordic skiing, weather it is skating or classic. It is very dance like, with a lot of strength added. I don't race anymore, not because I don't like to race, but because I would rather enjoy the movement and not feel pressured to do intervals when it might be good day for a long ski.
When I coach I always emphasise the beauty, the gracefulness and the joy of being in the snow. You can do this whether you race or not. Sunnyside Sports in Bend just got the latest issue of Master Skier. Some of you know this is not my favorite magazine. I was looking through the latest issue and did not see an article on is Nordic skiing enjoyable until the last page. If you were to give this magazine to a friend so they would get a feeling of what Nordic Skiing is all about they would think it was hard, work, confusing, difficult etc etc etc....
Well that is not the case. Nordic skiing is non of those. It is about grace, smoothness and the joy of sliding in snow. It is about propelling yourself up hill in order to fly down the next downhill. There is nothing more fun (except maybe a muddy cross race). Make sure you tell your friends about the fun and not the confusion about Nordic skiing.
The photo above is what cross racing is all about. It captures what I feel more than any photo of a race that I have seen.

1 comment:

Janet said...

You were right, Don. That IS a great photo of the kid riding through the puddle. We've ALL been there at some point, some of us haven't stopped, right?